This afternoon I received a text message from the Obama campaign (I’d opted-in to text messaging programs for all candidates from both parties early in the year):
Barack will announce his VP candidate choice through txt msg between now & the Conv. Tell everyone to text VP to 62262 to be the first to know! Please forward.
I imagine this is intended mostly to try to get some extra publicity out of the announcement, to position Obama as being in touch with how Americans communicate, and to expand their list of txt opt-ins so they can ask for support and money throughout the rest of the campaign. Mostly yawn.
I’d be interested to hear how this does in terms of new opt-ins, but is this news really compelling enough that people will want to sign up for it in particular?
As well, it’s too bad they continue to treat text as a broadcast medium and don’t invite any feedback, interactivity or community. I’ve often suggested that a wonderful feature of text messages is that they force brevity. That frequently results in better thought out, poignant responses, and always makes it easier to read though what more people have to say.
When Obama reads and responds to some of the best SMS messages he’s received, then I’ll suspect his campaign might really be different and his White House more accessible to the people.
UPDATE 1, 10:26pm Friday, Aug 22: So much for Text messaging being first… wire services report CNN says Biden will be the dem’s VP. I’m still waiting to see the text message from Obama, but then I guess he hasn’t actually announced…
UPDATE 2: 1:02am Saturday, Aug 23: Barack has chosen Senator Joe Biden to be our VP nominee. Watch the first Obama-Biden rally live at 3pm ET on http://www.BarackObama.com. Spread the word!
I like that they tried to respond quickly to the breaking news once there was a leak, but I’m not sure it is ever a good idea to send commercial or political text messages at 1am (4am ET). I’m pretty sure that the only text messages kosher to send at that hour involve a booty call.
They announced on Twitter even later.
If all you are going to use SMS and Twitter for is broadcasting, at least be polite about when you do it. Better yet, get an @reply in your tweetstream once in a while, or mention feedback you read in a text message when you’re responding to a question or putting out a statement.
Once you start actually having a conversation with me, maybe I’ll feel like you’ve earned the right to hit me up for a 1am booty call.